The Foundations Of The European Union: Robert Schuman Anu/ Euro2012 Essay

2663 words - 11 pages

Robert Schuman: ‘Father’ of the European Project
Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Robert Schuman was a Luxembourgian French statesman who is often credited with being the ‘Father’ of the European Union even though the majority of his ideas were in fact conceptualised from the works of Jean Monnet. However it can be compellingly argued that it was the collaboration of these two men that was pivotal in the formation of the European Project. As a result, it should be well established that both men became some of the most influential independent political thinkers and activists in all European history but it was Schuman who was the more formally and somewhat incorrectly recognised today. Schuman’s motivations behind his association with the European project are critiqued as considerably alien at the time in that he recognised the futility of nationalism and that integration. Rather, he along with Monnet developed and advocated the ideals of federalist intergovernmentalism which both men believed was the path of the future towards a stronger connected Europe which is pivotal in the European Union that exists today. Consequently, it is effectively portrayed that the foundations of the modern European Union were built upon Monnet’s ideas and structural contributions. Yet, it was Schuman’s strategical contributions to the early stages of European project due to his high-level political positions that proved to be the most effective in the implementation of European Integration making him a key figure. Hence, it is effectively understood that Schuman ‘fathered’ European integration while it was Monnet that designed the European project and the collaboration of both these men resulted in the European Union we see today. Comment by Mathew Mikhail: Integration is what?
Initially, Robert Schumann became heavily associated and involved with the notion of European integration having witnessed the horrors of both World Wars, their devastating effects on Europe as well as the threat of nationalism to achieving peace. Similarly, Monnet demonstrated his belief that political unions between nations such as Britain and France were the only method to defeat Nazism as well as nationalism in the future. This notion was effectively demonstrated to the ‘French Committee of National Liberation on the 5th of August 1943 whereby Monnet declared “There will be no peace in Europe, if the states are constituted on the basis of national sovereignty…the countries of Europe are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity and social development. The European states must constitute themselves into a federation…”.[footnoteRef:1] Consequently, Monnet accepted that in order to accomplish this drastic ideology, he would have to “change the minds of men” and utilised that he would use Germany and France’s historic bitter rivalry to set a key example for the creation of the European Union.[footnoteRef:2] With this ludicrous idea, Monnet want to devise and implement a delicate...

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